How to register a trademark in the UK?
Step 1: Search
Prior to filing a trademark search should be done. It can be ordered online on our website.
Please contact us with your trademark and a list of goods and/or services of interest and we will do a free trademark search for you.
Step 2: Filing your application
In order to file your UK trademark application, we need:
- Trademark name
- A picture of your trademark logo (.jpg image is preferable);
- Applicant’s name and address (this may be an individual, two individual or a legal entity, such as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a company);
- A list of the goods and/or services in relation to which your trademark mark is used or intended to be used. Don’t worry about sending an exact list. A description in your own words is enough.
If your application claims priority from a corresponding foreign trademark application, please provide the filing date, application number, and country of first filing.
Your trademark will be submitted electronically after you approve it.
An official filing receipt is issued by the UK IPO (UK Intellectual Property Office) 2-4 days after filing. The filing receipt confirms the filing date and assigns an application number.
Step 3: Examination
Your UK trademark application will be reviewed within 5-15 days.
Your application is examined on the following grounds:
- Relative grounds – the Examiner conducts a search of earlier trademarks with effect in the UK and informs UK applicants if he/she finds that your trademark is close to a previously filed or registered trademark. Note your trademark will not be refused by the Trademark Office if there is a similar mark; and
- Absolute grounds – the Examiner determines whether the trademark is descriptive or non-distinctive. The Examiner will examine your mark to make sure it’s not offensive or immoral.
The Examiner may also ask additional questions, like asking to re-specify the goods/services if they were not clear.
If an examination objection is raised, the Examiner will set a period for the applicant to respond.
Step 4: Publication
Once the examination stage is completed, the application will be published in the online Trade Mark Journal. Within a two-month period, third parties have an opportunity to file an opposition based upon prior registered or unregistered rights.
The most common ground for an opposition is confusion with a prior filed or registered trademark.
Some other grounds are descriptiveness and bad faith.
About 5% of all applications are opposed, so it’s not something you should really worry about.
If a third party is concerned, they will usually request to extend the opposition period by one month and try to resolve the situation amicably. In many instances, oppositions may be resolved by a simple modification of goods/services (for example, by limiting them). Many cases are resolved without a formal opposition.
Step 5: Registration
Two weeks after publication, the UK IPO will issue a paper registration certificate. It is mailed to the agent of record. It is important to keep your registration certificate safe because it is not possible to request further copies of the original certificate.
The registration certificate confirms the registration details and registration dates.
Once the UK trademark application has registered you may use the ® symbol to indicate that your trademark is now registered. Please do not use ® symbol before registration.
You may also wish to state “[YOUR TRADE MARK] is a Registered UK Trade Mark of [PROPRIETOR]”. This alerts others to your rights and can act as a deterrent.
Note: in the UK one refers to a “trade mark” (two words) whereas in the US and Canada it is “trademark” one word. For simplicity and consistence, we refer to a “trademark”, rather than a “trade mark”.
Next step: Renewal
A UK trademark registration can last forever, but it has to be renewed every 10 years. A UK trademark registration can be subject to action for revocation for non-use, five years after registration.
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